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VidaCura Newsletter VidaCura Newsletter: Taking Care of Ourselves: Health and Wellness Information You Can Use
Health and Wellness Information You Can Use
  To work, health checklists must be used.
Health Checklists for 50-plusers
Posted: September 13, 2008

In July, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the AARP did the nation's 50-plusers a huge favor. They published two free health checklists, one for men and one for women that are designed to be used at home and taken to medical appointments, too.

Both easy-to-use checklists help people 50 and over find out about the life-style changes they need to make; the preventive medications they may need to be taking; and the medical check-ups and screenings they need to be doing to prevent disease and stay healthy.

Why preventive screening?
Unlike diagnostic tests, which are used to determine if you have a disease or condition, preventive screening tests are used to check for problems before symptoms appear. Yearly mammograms and cholesterol checks are examples of preventive screening tests.

AHRQ and AARP also released an accompanying poster to remind 50-plusers to participate in activities that promote good health and take the medications and get the screening tests they need to prevent problems.

To work, however, it's got to be posted where it'll be seen daily: the medicine cabinet door, the kitchen memo board, over the washing machine in the laundry room.

Evidence-based recommendations
The recommendations in the checklists and wall chart are examples of your tax dollars at work because they are based on findings of the US Preventive Services Task Force.

The Task Force is a government-supported agency made up of experts in primary care and prevention who review medical research and evidence to determine which tests, treatments and medications have consistently been proven to work. For 50-plusers, following the recommendations is key to aging successfully said AHRQ Director Dr. Carolyn M. Clancy. "As we age," she explained, "what we need to do to stay healthy begins to change."

Want more evidence-based information?
If you want in-depth recommendations for a specific disease or condition, visit the National Guideline Clearinghouse. Originally created by the American Medical Association, American Association of Health Plans and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Clearinghouse provides a comprehensive, alphabetized database of clinical practice guidelines and related materials that are used by the nation's hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health professionals in the creation of diagnostic, treatment, care and rehabilitation plans.

Issue 1: September, 2008
Optimists Live Longer
Eating Smarter
Tips to Avoid Falls
Health Checklist for 50+
Compression Stockings
The Benefits of Grains
Welcome to VidaCura
Letter from the Editor
VidaCura Blog
VidaCura Main Site
AARP Health Resources
New York Times Health NPR: On Health Podcast
NPR: Health Care
What if you don't have health insurance? VidaCura Co-founder Larry Berk offers some advice. Read more>

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